A group of protesters staged a sit-in at Duke University’s main administrative building late Friday stemming from an incident involving an administrator two years ago.
Demonstrators with the Duke Students and Workers in Solidarity campaign entered the Allen Building late in the day after an outdoor protest. The building houses administrative offices, including the office of Duke President Richard Brodhead.
The protesters were calling for the dismissal of three administrators, most notably Executive Vice President Tallman Trask III, regarding a 2014 incident in which he is accused of hitting a contract parking employee with his car. The traffic control officer, Shelvia Underwood, filed suit against Trask last month, alleging that he uttered a racial slur at her. The university has declined to comment on the lawsuit.
In a news release late Friday, one of the protesters, Carolyn Yao, said: “We are occupying in solidarity with workers of color who have continually been abused, neglected, discriminated against, and then retaliated against when they speak up.”
Images of the protesters, with bags of supplies in the Allen Building, circulated on social media Friday. Protesters said they would continue to occupy the building until their demands were met.